Mid Wales

April Jones: David Cameron praise for Machynlleth

Prime Minister David Cameron says the whole country is impressed with the way a mid Wales community has coped with the disappearance of April Jones.

Speaking during Prime Minister's Questions, he said the UK had been shocked and appalled by the events in Machynlleth.

The five-year-old was last seen in a street near her home in the Powys town on 1 October.

Meanwhile, a police officer has said the search for April continues.

Mr Cameron made his comments in the House of Commons following a question from Montgomeryshire MP Glyn Davies.

Mr Cameron replied: "The whole country has been shocked by the appalling events but the country has been lifted and incredibly impressed by this community, Machynlleth, and what everybody has done to help the police, to help the emergency services.

"We've seen a whole community come together, not just in grief but in action to help this family and I think it a huge credit to everyone involved."

It is the second time Mr Cameron has spoken about April's case.

Days after her disappearance he described it as every family's nightmare and asked anyone with information to speak to police.

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Media captionSupt Ian John said 150 officers searching for April were replaced by another 150 on Tuesday

Mark Bridger, 46, has since been charged with murder and child abduction.

April's disappearance prompted one of the biggest searches for a missing person in recent times, and involved hundreds of volunteers from the Machynlleth area, across Wales and parts of England.

They were joined by hundreds of trained search and rescue staff from the police, the fire service, mountain rescue teams and the coastguard.

Dyfed-Powys Police gave an update on Wednesday on progress in the search for April.

Supt Ian John said 150 officers from police forces in Wales and England searching for April were replaced by another 150 on Tuesday. They too are from forces across Wales and England.

Supt John praised the blue light emergency services for their work searching caves and mine shafts, adding that the focus was still on Ceinws, where Mr Bridger lives.

'Community spirit'

The mayor of Machynlleth, Gareth Jones, has said it could take years for the town to return to normal after April's disappearance.

Mr Jones said: "There are small signs that the town is very gradually trying to return to some sort of normality but it is undeniable that this will take many months or years before we will come to terms with what happened."

He added: "Much has been reported about the strong community spirit in Machynlleth and how people turned out in their thousands to help in the search for April.

"This may be foreign to those unaccustomed to life in the Dyfi Valley but it is no surprise to any of us who are from here."

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